Schalke 0-3 Chelsea: Perfect night takes Chelsea top!
Jose Mourinho told his players after defeat to Basel it was "garbage that needed clearing up...
Jose Mourinho told his players after defeat to Basel it was "garbage that needed clearing up". His players have responded with a fantastic performance in Bucharest followed by another one here in Germany and now, Mourinho's men sit proudly at the top of our Champions League group.
The home defeat was a disaster and although Chelsea picked themselves up and delivered the result needed in Romania, the trip last night to Germany was as Jose called it "Our toughest opponent".
Yes Schalke had some key players missing but there was still a job to do, work to be done and my god Chelsea delivered the kind of performance we have begun to get used to seeing of late.
Chelsea's back to back European successes have been built around solid foundations and working hard in defensive areas to close down space and make life difficult for our opponent to break us down. Although Schalke had one or two "moments" we never really looked in any danger.
John Terry and Gary Cahill at the back provided the base for the team to build from and once again, they both stated their case to the manager to be included at Stamford Bridge this coming Sunday.
Branna Ivanovic was as solid as ever and coped well enough with Schalke's star man Draxler. Cesar Azpilicueta came in at left back and dealt with the threat down our left hand side. When he was beaten, the boys in the middle dealt with anything that came their way.
Frank Lampard and Ramires both played with discipline and worked hard throughout. Both had little chances of getting forward to support our attackers but provided that screen in front of our back four winning tackles and popping their passes about with the fine ball played up to Hazard by Ramires for our third goal being the perfect example.
It wasn't the best of games for Andre Schurrle who is feeling the effects of a knock picked up away with Germany last week and he was replaced late on in the second half. It was one of those games with everything he tried either not coming off or having little effect compared to a fortnight ago in Bucharest.
Oscar was as busy as ever. Dropping deep to provide an easy option to pass to, linking up play between Lampard and the attacking third or even working hard without the ball, Oscar played well.
You will read plenty of plaudits for Fernando Torres this morning and rightly so but it's important to acknowledge the role Eden Hazard and Oscar played in his second. Hazard's lightening pace and skill took him away from two tackles as he then releases Oscar down the right. Now, up against a bigger powerful man, Oscar shows a turn of foot to go past him and then the strength to hold of the challenge and play the ball square to Torres who slots the ball home to make it 2-0. Outstanding from the little Brazilian!
Eden Hazard is one of those players who can turn a game on it's head in an instant and is always a threat. Let's be honest, if you watched the game you would have seen him spend most of the game on his arse time and time again after being taken out by one of the opposition.
He still had moments during that time of absolute quality and great interplay with a notable dribble through defenders coming to nothing late on in the first half.
For the most part in the second half, the likes of Hazard and Oscar filled in to do the defensive part of their roles in the team. However, when the chance came about, Hazard provided Schalke with a problem time and time again!
His turn of pace is electric, his ability with the ball at his feet and his skill come into play more than ever when Chelsea set themselves up to counter attack.
I have already explained the second goal for Torres but for the third, Hazard stepped up with some assistance from Torres. Picking up a long pass from Ramires to create a two on one counter attack, Hazard kept calm as he strode towards the Schalke box.
Torres makes a fantastic run across him giving the defender a problem. As the defender hesitates, Hazard takes a touch to his left and slides a shot low down passed the keeper into the bottom right hand corner to make it 3-0 on the night and kill the game dead!
What can you say about Fernando Torres right now? Another determined, hungry and fantastic performance from our number nine and it's great to see it really is. He was under the spotlight tonight after watching Samuel Eto'o score his first Chelsea goal last weekend but answered any doubts.
His work rate is first class, his movement is top drawer and now we are seeing him get the luck that seemed to have deserted him for a while. Right place, right time for the first goal and once again for the second. Two more for Torres will give him confidence with some big games coming up!
Everything played into our hands last night. An early goal, solid foundations and three good goals away from home making it SEVEN in two away games with ZERO conceded. Basel ended up drawing 1-1 in Romania to see Chelsea move to the top of the group on goal difference from Schalke with the Germans next up at Stamford Bridge in two weeks!
A perfect night for Mourinho's men!
Carefree & KTBFFH!